Despite the Hoopla, Not Everyone Sold on IPv6

Carl Weinschenk

Folks who have been following IPv6 for a long time most likely are getting tired of it. But for organizations that still are not fully on board, time is growing short and much of the material may seem new and a bit frightening.

Two important bookend events this year are the exhaustion of the last group of IPv4 addresses in February and IPv6 Day on June 8th, barely two weeks away. On that day, ISPs and the organizations to which they connect will switch to the new addressing scheme to see if things are working correctly.

Carol Wilson at Light Reading suggests that smaller ISPs may be stressed by the goings on on June 8. A small percentage of the connections - between 0.12 percent and 0.5 percent - are expected to fail, Wilson reports. When this happens, the calls will be directed to the ISP, no matter where the problem is. While the bigger service providers should be able to field those consumers comfortably, it may pose more of a challenge to the smaller companies.

Despite the exhaustion and the special day, interest in IPv6 is not exploding. One reason, most likely, is that compliance isn't a revenue-generating endeavor. And, as eWeek points out, the price to be paid for not being IPv6-compliant isn't dramatic. It will be paid slowly and gradually over a number of years. Whatever the reason, the story points to a blase attitude:

This may be why only 35 percent of respondents in a recent British Telecom Diamond IP survey considered IPv6 a "huge concern" for their organizations, while 46 percent expressed "moderate concern." The remaining 19 percent felt "low concern," because they expected to use existing technologies to optimize how they were using IPv4 addresses, according to the May 18 report.

There also is a secondary challenge. Network World says that there is a lack of statistics on the relative amounts of IPv6 versus IPv4 traffic. It would be reasonable to assume that the number of sites using the new protocol is growing - but it isn't necessarily the case, according to the story:

One of the only regular surveys of Internet traffic is compiled by Arbor Networks, which recently reported that IPv6 represented less than 0.2% of all Internet traffic. Arbor said IPv6 traffic - both tunneled and native - had declined 12% in the last six months, even as momentum for World IPv6 Day was building. Arbor gathered this data by surveying six carriers in North America and Europe.

The piece quotes experts who doubt the Arbor numbers. The inability to make concise measurements, however, means that doubts remain. Geekosaur offers a good background on IPv4, IPv6 and where the Internet industry is now.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 25, 2011 1:47 AM colonial872000 colonial872000  says:

Enteprises are not on board with IPv6 either. A recent IPv6 readiness poll of from Ipswitch Network Management shows that 88% of enterprises are not ready for the IPv6 transition. Two-thirds (66.1%) said that they are 0-20% ready. Over 600 people participated, and full poll results are at whatsupgold.com.

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